Following a staff vote last November, Majestic Wine’s Charity of the Year for 2010 is Parkinson’s UK. One of this year’s most challenging staff fundraisers was the Marathon du Médoc on 11th September 2010.
10 members of staff – Peter Taylor (Majestic Woking), Harry Fraser (Majestic Milton Keynes), John Ruck-Keene (Majestic Aylesbury), Mike Wilson (Majestic Kingston), Bruce Evans (Majestic Exeter), Rebecca Fowler (Majestic Clapham), Sophie Russell (Majestic Belgravia), Matt Willshire (Commercial), Matt Thomas (Commercial) and Andy Lloyd (Majestic in France) – completed the gruelling 26.3 mile race through the Médoc vineyards in Bordeaux. Whilst training, they collected sponsorship and have raised £10,000 for Parkinson’s UK, a fantastic sum! 2 of our runners share their experiences…
Majestic Exeter – the first Brit across the finish line!
“The Marathon du Médoc is, to put it mildly, unique. Sure it is 26 odd miles, but not many marathons major so much on wine tasting and fancy dress. In this race, 3/4 of the runners don some form of ludicrous costume!
This year’s theme was ‘Comic Superheroes’. Between us, we managed Bat Woman, (John), Wonder Woman (Harry), Cat Woman (Sophie), Superman, (Matt Thomas), the Incredible Hulk (Rebecca), Tarzan, (Andy) and a half-hearted Ziggy Stardust (me). Matt Willshire, Pete and Mike ran in Parkinson’s UK tops.
As the roads to Pauillac were closed, we endured a 4km walk to the starting line, with plenty wolf-whistles for Cat Woman and Wonder Woman! Joining the back of 8000 brightly dressed runners, we arrived just in time for the siren. I then realised why I was the only runner with a huge blue Ziggy Stardust wig…as soon as I began to run, synthetic blue hair would fill my mouth and eyes!
We ran through vineyards and past glorious Châteaux – including Grand Puy Lacoste, Lagrange, Gruaud-Larose, Leoville Poyferre, Cos d’Estournel, Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite-Rothschild. There were food and wine stations along the way. My first tasting stop, after just 3 miles, was Château Batailley. I had a taste of 2009 Batailley – robust, but gorgeous fruit, this is going to be absolutely lovely!
The last few miles were painful. Any thoughts of tasting dropped out of my mind and I hurried past the ham and oyster stands. I could only focus on getting to the finish line. With the crowd cheering me on, I forced myself across the line. The sense of achievement was enormous! What a challenge, stunning wines and a great sum we have raised for Parkinson’s UK!”
Majestic Woking – who put forward the idea of a Majestic team in the Marathon du Médoc
“I’d never run a Marathon before, so it was a fantastic experience and a great feeling as I passed the finish line. The Marathon du Médoc has the highest drop out rate of all the world’s marathons – around 800 runners don’t make it.
There were lots of tasting stations around the course, it was like running through a wine list in a fine dining restaurant! Pichon-Longueville, Beychevelle, Talbot, Lafite- Rothschild to name just a few. The temperature crept up to 29 degrees and I didn’t wish for dehydration, so I passed the tasting tables without partaking. I waited until after the race for a sumptuous dinner alongside some fantastic wines.
If you run, love wine and want to raise money for a good cause, nothing beats the Marathon du Médoc!”